'Madeline's Madeline' Breakout Helena Howard Earning Buzz for Film Debut

Courtesy of Oscilloscope

The actress, described as "volcanically gifted" by THR film critic Jon Frosch, reveals her Hollywood role model, dream directors and what's next.

WHO

Helena Howard in Josephine Decker's Madeline's Madeline (out in New York and coming to Los Angeles on Aug. 17).

WHERE YOU'VE SEEN HER BEFORE

You haven't. The 20-
year-old's lead turn as an unstable teen torn between her stressed-out mother (Miranda July) and a captivating acting teacher (Molly Parker) is her big-screen debut.

WHY YOU SHOULD 
CARE NOW

The New York- and New Jersey-raised Howard drew across-the-board raves 
at Sundance, where the film premiered 
in January. THR's Jon 
Frosch wrote that the "volcanically gifted" actress "yanks you right into her character's fraying headspace," while Deborah Young, in her review, called Howard "sensational … a dynamo who demonstrates astounding intensity."


HER HOLLYWOOD ROLE MODEL

Meryl Streep. "When you're watching her, you don't see her — you see the story she's telling, the life she's encapsulating," Howard tells THR.


HER DREAM DIRECTORS

Topping the list of filmmakers she hopes to work with one day are Darren Aronofsky, Xavier Dolan, Lynne Ramsay, Barry Jenkins, Wes Anderson, Terrence Malick, the Coens 
and David Fincher.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR HER

The actress, repped 
by WME, has been cast as one of the leads 
in Amazon's YA pilot The Wilds, to be directed by Susanna Fogel (The Spy Who Dumped Me).

This story first appeared in the Aug. 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.